It’s Time For Initiative and Referendum
Considering the fact that the U.S. Constitution gives voters the responsibility of electing the most powerful person in the world (indirectly through the electoral college), one wonders why Senator Robert Duncan, and the rest of the Texas Legislature won’t let us decide whether or not to expand gambling in Texas.
The answer is they don’t want to give up power. And that serves as a reminder that Texans don’t have an option that some other states have — making laws ourselves through initiative and referendum.
I don’t have a strong opinion on gambling one way or the other, but I strongly believe the people should have the option to propose laws by getting signatures on a petition, and then voting yes or no on election day.
My first job out of school in 1977 was working for a conservative state senator named Walter Mengden, a strong supporter of initiative and referendum. Since then, I have been a supporter of I & R myself. It was a good idea then, and it remains a good idea now, but it seems we are no closer to having I & R than we were then.
Why is that? Because the road to I & R goes through the state capital. Changing the Texas Constitution requires cooperation from the Legislature, and there is nothing more difficult than getting an elected official to give up power.
Do you want to have a real impact on government? Demand I & R, and kick out of office those legislators who oppose I & R.